The Advantages of Studies with Short Titles

As title length increases, the number of citations typically decreases. [Click to enlarge]

As title length increases, the number of citations typically decreases.
[Click to enlarge]

With the use of technical terms and complex formals, scientific journal articles are typically a difficult read for the non-expert. However, sometimes scientists themselves also have a difficult time wading through the highly complicated terms in these studies.

A new analysis of 140,000 scientific papers has recently been released, suggesting that studies with shorter titles are more often cited than those with long titles. The reason? Papers with shorter titles may be generally more concise and easier to comprehend.

The analysis began by looking at 20,000 of the most highly cited scientific papers published from 2007 to 2010. Each year consistently showed that papers with shorter titles received more attention.

This from Popular Science:

The situation gets more complicated, though, when you take journal rankings into account. Papers published in more prestigious journals tend to get more citations. Once the authors controlled for that factor, the correlation between shorter titles and higher citations only held up for the years 2007 to 2010. But the results do show that, overall, journals that publish papers with shorter titles tend to receive more citations per paper.

Read the full article here.

While previous studies on this topic showed varying results, the new analysis is thought to be more dependable based on the utilization of a much larger sample size.

[Image: Royal Society Open Science]

PS: Take a look at ECS’s publications and head over to the Digital Library to read some of the top scientific papers!

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